Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Page a Day

It's Thursday, so I'm going to talk about writing. (I could do it on Wednesdays, but that would lead to the obvious alliteration, and I just can't do that.)

I got my first real novel idea in the 10th grade. The problem was getting the courage to sit down and actually, um, do the writing of it. That was an issue for a very long time. I would think about sitting down and writing, but I'd never get around to doing it. Then, when I'd get around to sitting in front of the computer (it had to be a computer as I get wicked writer's cramp), I might fiddle around for an hour or so, but nothing would get accomplished.

It wasn't until I made a habit of writing that I got any writing done. And I started simple. I made a commitment to write a page of something every day.

Depending upon my work schedule, I'd do it before or after work. I wrote on my birthday and on Christmas. I wrote when I wasn't feeling all that well. I wrote.

I started a novel that I never finished. I had days where I just didn’t feel like writing, so I wrote journal pages. I worked on short stories. And somewhere in there, writing daily became so ingrained that a day didn’t feel complete unless I got my writing in there somewhere.

Since then, I have moved up from a page a day. It’s not much more than that, but at least it’s a weekly goal, and it’s a weekly goal that I can meet, even when other obligations must be met. I’ve learned a lot about how I work best in that time. I’ve managed to complete (first drafts of) two novels. And I’m working on a third. (I’ll get one of them ready to be read by someone other than me one of these days.)

Starting something new is hard. Figuring out how to accomplish it in manageable steps helps. So, if I had to give a new writer any advice, it would be to write a page of something every day. It’s what worked for me.

5 comments:

  1. I agree with that BIC philosophy. (Butt in Chair) Get your butt in the chair and write. I do find other things to do like play scrabble on line and email but I always write something each day.

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  2. That kind of reminds me of me :). I had ideas, but every time I tried to write them, I'd do a page and then have no idea how to keep going. I didn't realize there was more to writing than ideas. It takes a lot of commitment.

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  3. I was that way at first with writing until I forced myself into National Novel Writing Month. It just takes one step at a time to get into the writing groove. :)

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  4. I too try to write every day. Most days I'm pretty good about it. Other days, I'm scribbling down one little sentence just before I go to bed.

    My weakness is currently solitaire and Minesweeper. I really should just delete them from the computer. Imagine how much work I'd get done then!

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  5. I love hearing how writers find their method. A page a day is impressive when you think about how quickly they add up. Can be a novel a year! I write in starts and stops.

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